How Long Does It Take To Sell An Item?

Specifically Magic Items.

So we have the market class availability chart, and for buying, at least, it assumes you either have that many items available per month, or a percent chance of one, right away.  Getting more brings in commissioning which is when delays occur.


So what about selling?  In the back of the book, the chart for selling items is just a repeat of the buying chart.  Anyway, on to my question:

Say a group of PCs are trying to sell several expensive magic items, like a Level 4 scroll and a Crystal Ball.  Each has a 5% or worse chance of selling.  How many days does it take them to find out if they can sell it?  Can they reasonably travel to several different nearby cities and essentially get a "re-roll" until they manage to sell them?

I would think so. The roll would be per month per settlement, yes? Given how purchasing lots of items seems to work, my guess would be a week for individual items, and then 50%/25%/25% week 1/week 2/week 3 for the lots. But, it would be one resolution roll up front. For example, let's say that you had 8 +1 Swords and that you successfully made the roll to sell them. Would it follow that buyers are found for 4 the first week, 2 the second week, and the final 2 the third week?

In any case, that's how I've done it the few times that's come up.

I'm sure there's a way to setup a new table that would figure out the average amount of time that any given band of magic item based on price would take to sell in each market class.

Fun fact, in my campaign a few years ago, the PCs hired a trader to offload their harder-to-sell magic items on commission. This guy had previously proved his loyalty and the group wanted to get back to their adventuring. I think he charged them 250gp flat per month, plus 5% of the final sale price of each item.

Well so the 50%/25%/25% in 1/2/3 weeks seemed to be mainly for people, not goods, but I suppose it wouldn't be unreasonable.  I guess I never thought about it too deeply, but for the purposes of buying things I always just make everything available (or roll to see if 1 is available) right when the players try, and then let commissioning determine how long they have to wait for more than that.

1 week is probably at least a safe compromise.

The magic item dealer seems like a good choice, I personally have been ruminating over how one might make rules for a magic item auction. 

You're correct about the 50/25/25 thing. I might be mixing that up with something else. This was a few years back.

The trade in magical items is intentionally very inefficient.  My players roll for their expensive sales, which sometimes takes months. They also pay the cost of identification to the safistaction of the buyer, which can be from 50 to 4500 gp.

If you want it to be a little easier though, why not repurpose the rules for commissioning items?  Multiply the chart number by 10 to see how many you could sell, and then take half the time required to create that item as the time required to set up the sale. You could arrange a buyer for the crystal ball in 100 days or for the level 4 scroll in two weeks.  Arranging a buyer for multiple swords +1 would take two weeks, but in a Class III market you'd only be able to sell 2 or 3 of them.

I do kind of like the inefficiency of not being able to easily sell the items, since it makes them consider just using them, but also the micro adventure that emerges of being travelling merchants trying to offload magic items.  That being said, if it gets too bad and they seem ready to give up, I might relent and let them do the comissioning.

I do also kind of like the idea of an exciting event being a magic item auction where, in addition to getting to sell the item they don't want, they get to be tempted into buying ones they do.

I'm curious why they are selling the items rather than giving them to henchmen (or henchmen of henchmen, or henchmen of henchmen of henchmen, etc.). That seems the most efficient use of "extra" magic items.

XP. They're being sold for the XP most probably. My players are still adjusting to the slower rate of advancement. However, they are starting to think it's better sometimes to charge through portions of a dungeon rather than check everything for traps all the time. They're learning to hate wandering monsters that are no richer than hobos. 

XP-That makes sense. In that case, for magic item sales, I would use the harshest interpretation of the rules as written that I could imagine. The potential XP value of magic items isn't included in the ACKS treasure-XP-value-to-monster-XP-value ratio. If the PCs want to convert magic items they find in the dungeon into XP, they should have to work their asses off to do so.

wmarshall is correct.  The party of adventurer tier characters (levels 4-6) took a handful of henchmen, a very modest number of mercenaries, and a single catapault and wiped out the hobgoblin lair from Lairs & Encounters, for which the hobgoblin witchdoctor has a crystal ball.  Said crystal ball is valued at 24,000gp, so selling it is a pretty massive payday for them, and they seem less interested in its potential than other things they've found.

Yep. My players were far more interested in leveling than hanging onto some miscellaneous magic items that weren't always going to be useful in their opinions. The trade in magic items might be inefficient, but if you can sell them, the efficiency in the character being more powerful is far more cogent depending upon the items in question.

Fascinating! My groups have virtually never sold magic items, with one exception - they sold a major magic item from the Undercity in order to pay for some scrolls they wished to buy.


Fascinating! My groups have virtually never sold magic items, with one exception - they sold a major magic item from the Undercity in order to pay for some scrolls they wished to buy.


were they always aware of the value of the magic item and (therefore) how much XP they could get if they sold it?

We sold several magic items -- eventually.  Some were more valuable to us as XP, others were just redundant (a party can only use so many +1 rings of protection.)  But our Judge told us the market was such that our best chance (in the largest market) was 5% per week, so some things took a year to sell.